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Report on Blockade by Veterans

PR-ByH Partija Rada - ByH (Party of Labor - Bosnia and Herzegovina), 7 March 2018

 

After the war of ’92-’95 official records stated that  there were around 280 000 of  the military personal  in Federation BiH, which included both Bosnian and Croatian forces, both fighter i.e. those  who were  in the killing  zone and back-up personnel (administration,  logistics, medics, etc).  After the war, ruling nationalist parties kept adding more and more people to that number  and  today  official records  claim that that number is 520 000. Most of those who  faked  their military  records and were added later  make up the voting body of these  nationalist  parties.  On top of  that  there are over 1600 veteran associations in Federation alone! This means that most money which government claims to be spending on the veteran population actually goes back to nationalists’ parties, via these so-called veterans’ associations and fake veterans. Using the population of  300  000  fake  ex-solddiers nationalists gain enough voting  advantage to keep them in power  for a long time. At  the  same time, real, actual veterans are dying from unemployment and poverty. Recent protests of the veteran population are culmination of the 9 month long protest.  Self-organized veterans  have  3  demands: public  registry of  veterans, including  names and  war path, detailed; cancelation of budget spending on these so called “veterans’ associations”; introduction of financial  support to actual  unemployed veterans (money for  this would come  from the savings  made by  cutting  off of  the  fake  veterans  and their organizations).

After more of 20 years of the government ignorance of the social demands from the veterans, ex-soldiers of the Army of RBiH and Croatian armed forces on 28.02.2018 blocked all major road intersections in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Sarajevo, Tuzla, Zenica, Jablanica, Konjic). After talks with the police representatives early next morning all of the blockades, except for the one in Tuzla, have been removed. At any moment, there were several hundred veterans in the Sicki Brod intersection blockade near Tuzla, awaiting the arrival of the federal special police forces. Some prominent Partija Rada BiH members were among them. Situation was dire, local and regional main stream media are pro-regime and provided little information on the developments on the ground. People relied mostly on the social media as a reliable source of information an there were reports of locals joining the protest. Finally, on 3rd March, early morning, special police  forces  violently broke  down the blockade and arrested several dozens of protesting veterans, using excessive  force, beatings  and violence. Images  and recordings of  this  violence were  heavily censored in media, but also on  Facebook. At  this  moment,  veterans  and  citizens are regrouping and planning their  next  step.  Considering  that all these events took part in sub-zero temperatures  it is  very  likely that  more  massive movement emerge, once  the  weather  gets  warmer.  We will try our best  to  keep  you  up to  date.

Kindly, feel free to ask any  questions or  for clarifications.

 

Revolutionary Love from Bosnia,

PR

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